We just jumped over to Leonberg, Germany, for one of our regular visits to the shop that’s fast becoming the foremost Porsche tuning werks in this strident era of company closures. We needed a thorough taste test of the 711-horsepower TechArt GTStreet RS. Exaggerating only a touch, about the only thing on this GT2 RS-based blue meanie that is fully original from Porsche AG—or not matte finish or bathed in Alcantara—is the rear-view mirror. At least that’s certainly the impact it makes the first time it fries our retinas.
Shown officially for the first time at last September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, this particular $675,000-ish GTStreet RS will eventually make its way into the roped-off garage of a very enthusiastic car nut in China. Either that or this King of Beijing could just as well leave it in Europe in order to avoid the massive import fees and taxes and bribes that are part and parcel in China. Not to mention the still difficult Chinese infrastructure and traffic behavior that makes enjoying any potent Porsche such as this to the max impossible.
From the already respectable factory standard 612 horsepower on the 500-unit limited edition car, TechArt’s “TA 097/T2.2” tune bumps that up to 711 hp—a 16 percent bump. Then for torque, we skip from 516 lb-ft up to 664 lb-ft, or a wrenching 27 percent increase. This German premium tune job creates no less than a racing Weissach wagen for the street, something for which this entire area around southwest Germany is renowned.
But the TechArt GTStreet RS—despite this particular client’s unfortunate color obsession—sweetly stays as traditional as people this damned passionate about the 911 would like by sticking with the factory six-speed manual from Getrag as set up, of course, for the shortest possible throws between ratios. And then untouched is the war-like single-mass flywheel that doesn’t stop rattling in its cage until we get the clutch pedal to the floor. That TechArt clutch, still about 9.1 inches in diameter as on the stock GT2 RS, has had its surface altered and hardened even further to deal with the geometrically greater stresses of launching this beast.
So OK, first off, it’s blue. Right down to the paintjob on the Clubsport half rollcage. Sky Blue according to the creators. We won’t give in to the temptation to use the terms “Smurf” or “Otter Pop” or even cotton candy. You all can go right ahead and refer to the blue in one of these hues, but we would never stoop so low and risk taking anything away from the exceptional qualities of this car. Besides, Smurf Blue would be darker and there’d be a little white floppy cap on the roof.
When we took off several times from a standstill, the immediate physical sensation was feeling all the skin on our face move toward the back of our neck in a fantastic demonstration of acceleration g-forces at play. We would have launched many times over, but this blur-inducing moment got us even more addicted to lighting up the 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+ tires (245/30 front and 315/25 rear) wrapped around forged TechArt Formula Race wheels at 8.5 inches wide in front and 12 inches wide in back.
The already unbelievable handling capabilities of the stock GT2 RS are rendered almost impossible to conceive, what with the 3.2 inches of added track in front thanks to the TechArt Formula Race wheels offset, the 4 additional inches at the rear axle and the new springs all around that lower the chassis 0.4 inches. Having a closed, decommissioned airfield near Stuttgart at our disposal, the 2.6 turns lock-to-lock of the Alcantara covered steering wheel could be experimented with non-stop, frequently in ways you just can’t pull off on public roads. On the slightly porous yet smooth surface of this tarmac, it was nearly impossible to make the GTStreet RS lose its concentration on the current line of travel. Eerie thoughts of invincibility crept in all too quickly.
We are less in love with the droopy “Dali clocks” automated rear wing of the Porsche GT2 than we are with the gorgeous spectacle put on by the wing of the GT3. So TechArt and the client are to be applauded for thinking likewise and fitting this custom 55-inch carbon-fiber, hollow master of rear downforce. The unit is adjustable in height over a 1.6-inch range and it was set at a default mid-point for our test day. Again, the sucked-to-the-pavement feeling at speed is not to be believed. Oh, for a suitable track to really explore the late braking and stability to the hilt. Throughout it all, the mechanical limited-slip differential works full-time and we don’t necessarily need a track day to feel that.
The brakes remain Porsche’s lauded PCCB set (15-inch front, 13.8-inch rear rotors) that supply more than enough stopping power, complementing the smooth operation of the 3,185-pound hound (that’s full curb weight). And with the two TechArt heavily modified variable turbine geometry turbochargers with augmented turbo body and turbine sides for 26.1 psi maximum boost pressure, the 27 percent greater torque pounding the pavement needs these stoppers like never before. With so much judicious pedal hammering going on, we grew to appreciate all of the study Porsche testers put in to establishing just the right pedal feel under the most stressful of situations. At the same time, heel-and-toeing is easy to do and is crucial to the overall raison d’être of the car anyway.
Despite the greater flow through the stainless steel exhaust manifolds and pipe system running out the back, the famed 3.6-liter flat six still sounds like the world’s most insanely powerful Shop-Vac. We want so badly for more rumble and roar, or at least a more meaty sound, to leap forth from our Porsches, but all we ever get is a raspy forced-air hurricane. With the Sport button lit, the sound inside the car gets correct and deep, but outside little changes. Oh well, at least the sucker doth haul ass in the end, handles like there’s Velcro at each corner and sets quite the tone both outside and in. We could see acceleration arriving at sub-3.0 seconds, but the manual shifter and rear traction would probably relegate it to around 3.1 seconds in reality. Top speed on the Nürburgring Nordschleife’s Döttinger Höhe final, long straight reaches an unofficial 217 mph.
TechArt knows Porsche like no one else and it was they who originated all those years ago the Porsche catalog of Tequipment enhancements. But their interior work takes just as much center stage as does their powertrain and chassis tuning. There is a tendency these days to err on the Alcantara overkill side and, as our hosts reminded us, “The customer is king in the end.” Look at the quilted roof and even the quilted inner side of the front hood. All done gorgeously, but… c’mon. The entire interior is redone by TechArt in house in Leonberg and we could happily snooze away an afternoon in the one-piece carbon-fiber sport seats. Instrument dials are TechArt specific, as is the outer portion of the steering wheel, the re-covered gearshift and handbrake, plus, of course, all the “GTStreet RS” placards and embroidery. Don’t ask us what the customer’s “Ting & Tiger – One of One” is getting at. To each his own.
Back outdoors, the hood is in carbon fiber and works with the front fascia to guide air more efficiently for a coefficient of drag just a bit better than the standard 0.34 Cd, despite the added downforce both front and rear. The front fenders are also in carbon fiber, while the engine cover is in fiberglass. Besides the exclusivity and lightness factors, the processes to forming these panels these days in these materials is advantageous for achieving exactly the desired characteristics. To help with driveway inclines et al., the front Vario suspension fitted by TechArt to their specification has hydraulic lifters that bring that chin spoiler up about 2.5 additional inches.
This customer car was not allowed on to public roads for obvious reasons, but the artificially liberating airfield just allowed us to play to the extreme, and we appreciated the wild opportunity. The entire package is insane and a Porsche of this caliber set loose can be frightening as that front end lightens up, as it will so frequently do. But then it forces one to be the very best driver possible, drawing on every single track day instruction session and all the weekend race experience just to keep things cool under heat. As a swan song to the 997 generation of cars, TechArt has formulated a right and proper send-off. For those in the dough.
Just please try to avoid the super-saturated overuse of certain colors when you order yours.
Porsche 997 TechArt GTStreet RS
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive
3.6-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve. “9A1” twin T35 VTG turbochargers, VarioCam Plus intake, Motronic ECU reprogramming via Sport/Sport Plus buttons, TA 097/T2.2 tune, Sport Chrono Package, TechArt stainless steel sport exhaust
Six-speed Porsche/Getrag manual w/single-mass flywheel, mechanical limited-slip differential, new-design sport steering wheel with paddles
Aluminum double-wishbone (f), aluminum multi-link (r), adjustable Vario coilover dampers, simplified Porsche Active Suspension Management, Normal and Sport mapping, Sport Chrono Package with dynamic engine mounts
PCCB 15.0-inch drilled and ventilated discs w/ 6-piston calipers (f), PCCB 13.8-inch drilled and ventilated discs w/ 4-piston calipers (r), Steelflex brake line kit, Porsche Stability Management
Wheels and Tires
Formula Race Five double-spoke forged alloy 8.5x20 (f), 12x20 (r)
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+ 245/30 (f), 315/25 (r)
Carbon-fiber front fender panels and hood, fiberglass engine cover, modified front and rear aprons w/ larger integrated intakes and vents, blackened quad exhaust tips, TechArt Aero kit, GT3 RS-style carbon-fiber rear adjustable wing
Full leather/Alcantara interior, TechArt sport steering wheel, custom TechArt dial faces, carbon-fiber bucket seats w/ 4-point seatbelts, half rollcage
MSRP: $675,000 (est.)
Peak Power: 711 hp @ 6600 rpm
Peak Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
0-62 mph: 3.1 sec. (est)
Top Speed: 217 mph